Real Talk w/Terry (formerly Relationships-411)

Saved – Single – Satisfied

I’m pleased to announce that I recently launched the YouTube channel, Relationships-411 that will compliment this blog. I am humbled and honored at how this journey continues to unfold. Every step of the way God has opened doors and paved the way.

I pray you enjoy this episode of Real Talk w/ Terry where I sit down with Elder Paulette Harper, founder of My Sister’s Keeper Ministries and Pastor Sheyna Heard, Senior Pastor of Rohi Christian Church who discuss being single women in leadership in ministry.


Couple of the Week: August Recap

We were able to profile a pair of dynamic couples in August who gave some wonderful relationship advice.

Dimitrius & Cara 11844280_10206882555249814_1367787135_n(1)

We have three bits of advice for couples: (1) Remember that marriage is not 50/50, it’s a 100/100 percent effort; each person must give as much as possible. Sometimes your best may not be enough so the other must give a little extra to pick up the slack even if you don’t feel like it. (2) Give small gifts to each other from time to time for no special occasion. “I started a new job as a teacher recently and my husband gave me special pens and pencils in my favorite colors to wish me good luck … one of the best gifts I got all year.” And (3) remember we all have bad days … so assume best intentions.

RJ & Monica

11787231_10153071826237291_1951428593_nWill celebrate 5 years of marriage in October. Their advice: never forget the basic foundation that a successful marriage is based upon – God as head. Work hard to communicate effectively, and always show your mate how much you love them. Allow God to lead your path and have FUN as often as possible!

Interview: Pastor Chad Johnson


Founder: Elevate Ministries

Title: Team Chaplain, Pittsburgh Steelers

Spring Chaplain, LA Dodgers

Founder & President, Elevate Intl.

Degree in Christian Ministries

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a long-time friend and brother in the ministry, Pastor Chad Johnson to discuss his work in the ministry with professional athletes and his state of singleness.

Occupation: Pastor Chad (PCJ) is the Chaplain for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and MLB’s LA Dodgers. He provides pastoral services for the sports teams in addition to life coaching for players, their families and administration. He leads player and coach bible studies, and team chapel before games. Some of his other duties include: conducting couple’s bible study, performing baptismal, making hospital visits, personal prayer, one-on-one discipleship, and mentoring.

Read more…

Is It Okay for a Woman to Ask a Man to Marry Her?!

Woman asking man to marry her
Marriage Proposal

This photo has caused quite a stir on social media over the past few weeks – a woman on her knees asking her boyfriend to marry her. The original caption and story that accompanied this picture when I first saw it stated that the gentleman had already proposed to the young lady, then at their engagement party, she reciprocated the gesture. All of this aside, and not surprising that after a few shares on Facebook, the original caption and story disappeared and just the image is being shared asking, “is it okay for a woman to propose to a man”.

I’ve actually discussed the issue of a woman pursuing a man, Loveclick for post, and should a woman ask a man to marry her, click for full post in previous blog posts.

What are your thoughts? In this day and age is it okay for a woman to ask a man to marry her?

He’s Not In To You!

Originally posted on

The following post was originally published March 10, 2014 on another blog that I write for and was so popular that I wanted to re-share it on this blog.

If you’re single and casually dating, expectations or lack of can be pretty clear. However, if you’re dating and have been for a year or more, the lines start to blur and for some ladies they may start wondering, “am I ‘the one’?” Based on personal experience in a relationship and subsequent engagement where we had very differing views of how long the engagement period should last, I offer insight into a situation where a woman may be in a long-term relationship or even engagement and is wondering if she is “the one” who will meet this man at the other end of the altar.

If you are receiving mixed signals from your man that are leaving you wondering if the relationship is going anywhere here are some RED FLAGS to look for:


1)      There is no clear commitment. Has he verbally committed to the relationship, stating or discussing that the two of you were in fact in a committed relationship or have you been going through the motions of a relationship;

2)      He only comes over at night. We used to call this a “booty call” … not sure what the in word is for this, but if he only comes over to visit late at night and you usually find yourself in the bedroom, well, you are a booty call;

3)      He is not interested in those things that interest you. Does he show interest in those things that are important to you? A man who cares about his woman and has long-term plans for her will show some sign of interest in the things that are important to her. If he doesn’t show interest in those things that are important to you, well he may not be that in to you;

4)      You have not met his parents? Most men will only introduce you to their parents if they have long-term plans for you. If you have not met his parents, well, this could mean that he either is not ready to introduce you to his parents YET or you just may not be “the one”;

5)      You have not met any of his friends? Like parents, a guy typically will only introduce you to his friends if he has long-term plans to have you in his life. If you have not met any of his friends, he may be thinking short-term.

Happy Couples

Some red flags a woman who is casually dating should look for early on if she is trying to determine if a new romance is short-term or has long-term potential are: they have not been on a formal date; brief and/or sporadic communication; he never calls you, you are always calling him; when together, he leaves the room to take phone calls; and there is no public display of affection could all mean that you may be one of many.


March 6, 2014

Dear Terry,

Recently I saw a friend of mine husband casually socializing and having lunch with a woman in the park. A time or two, I thought I saw him lean over close to her. My initial thought was to go over and speak to him and introduce myself to the woman but I didn’t; so he has no idea that I was in the area at that time and saw him. Should I tell my friend?



Dear Conflicted,

Your question sounds simple enough and pretty straight forward. To clear your conscience being that this is your friend’s husband, I say, yes tell her. You should not editorialize what you saw and draw any conclusions that could influence your friend’s thinking in any way. Simply tell her that you saw [name of her husband] having lunch in the park with someone; then allow her to handle or address the situation. She may have even known about the lunch and the person. The lady that your friend’s husband was having lunch with could very well have been a co-worker and they were discussing business. Or she could be a platonic friend or a relative. I strongly suggest that you not draw conclusions to what you saw in any shape form or fashion – looks can sometimes be very deceiving.

Yours truly,


DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions. If you have a relationship question or dilemma, email it to


February 4, 2014

Dear Terry,

This situation does not involve me personally, I’m kind of on the outside looking in; and am trying to give some sound advice to someone I care about. My brother has been dating his babies mamma for several years, they have an on-again – off-again kind of relationship; and he has been a live-in boyfriend when they are together. Their relationship has gotten to a crossroad where she wants them to get married and my brother is not interested in getting married at all. This young lady has hinted at asking my brother to marry her since he has not initiated a marriage proposal himself. She has been hanging on waiting for him to propose for years now – it’s obvious he has no plans to ask – at least not anytime soon. I’m screaming inside, “leave him, JUST leave him!” I want to tell her this, but I don’t want to overstep my boundaries or strain the relationship that I have with my brother.

-Frustrated On-looker

Dear Frustrated On-looker,

Wow! I can see you literally, throwing up your hands and yelling, “LEAVE HIM!” All jokes aside, for those on the outside, looking in and trying to understand the dynamics of someone else’s relationship can be quite complicated since we never know all the details of someone else’s relationship business. However, you mentioned several key points that I will address: 1) that your brother and this lady have been dating off and on for several years now. This sounds as if this relationship is “home” for one if not the both of them; meaning, when something better comes along, I will explore that option; and if that relationship does not work out, I know I can always come back to you. How unfair is this? Who wants to be someone’s in the meantime, in between time type of partner? My answer is, no one with a healthy self-esteem; 2) another point you made, that your brother and this lady have children together. This could very well fuel the on-again status of their relationship. Perhaps they are trying to make it work for the sake of the children. They should be careful of trying to force a relationship that perhaps neither of them really wants for the sake of the kids. In the long-run this could backfire – imagine the resentment the person would feel knowing that they only stayed around in a toxic relationship for the children. For some people they are better apart and their children grow up seeing their parents actually co-parent and get along instead of viewing two people live together in dysfunction just because and harbor resentment; and 3) that this woman has hinted at asking your brother to marry her since he appears to have no intention of asking anytime soon. This I see as problematic as well. Tradition aside, the very essence of a man is to seek and conquer. Men love a chase. A woman asking a man to marry her may sound forward thinking and in line with the times, but I guarantee you that any real man would not want his woman asking him for his hand in marriage. I do believe men still want the duty of asking for a woman’s hand in marriage.


Dear Terry,

I am married and I have a secret bank account that my husband has no knowledge of. I’ve had this account since before we were married, there is a significant amount of money in this account – several thousand dollars and I sometimes feel bad about having this secret stash, mainly when things get tight around the house. I am tempted to tell him about the money but always come to my senses before I spill the beans because my mom told me that I should always have some money put aside for a rainy day that my husband does not know about. I feel bad keeping this secret from him, however, I do feel empowered knowing that I have money put away “just in case.” Do you think I should tell him about my secret stash? Why or Why not?

-My Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool

Dear My Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool,

You are not alone; many women, me included have received this advice from well meaning women in our lives. I understand the concept, however, I do not agree with the “secret” part. Being a woman, I get having a “just in case” stash. Some may ask, what is a “just in case” stash; “just in case” my husband loses the good sense that God gave him and decides to leave me, I will have money to help with my transition. That being said, I do have an account that my husband does not have access to, but he knows I have the account. This account that I maintain is the one that was my main checking when I was single. I can so relate to your dilemma, because I had this same issue prior to getting married. I made the decision to tell my husband about the account, he did not agree with me having it, but understood my position. I simply did/do not want to put my total financial trust in a man, especially being that I was single and self-sufficient for so long. Additionally, I have flashbacks of that scene in the book and movie “Waiting to Exhale” when Bernadette went to the bank and she couldn’t access the joint accounts. I cannot tell you what to do; however, I believe you already know what to do. First of all, do some soul searching and come to terms with why exactly are you maintaining a “secret” account; then discuss your feelings with your husband – be open and honest. In this situation, communication is critical – there is a much deeper issue than keeping a secret bank account.

DISCLAIMER: The information or advice in this column should not be substituted for professional counseling. The thoughts expressed in the “Ask Terry” segment of the Relationships-411 blog are the thoughts and opinions of the writer and should be viewed as information and entertainment only. By submitting a question to the column you are hereby granting us permission to publish your question on this blog. You may submit your question or relationship dilemma to for the chance to be one of the featured questions of the week.

Twitter Chat: Don’t forget to join us on Thurs (8 pm CST/9 EST) for Twitter Chat at #AskTerry to weigh in on the week’s questions


A couple of years ago, I read an article about a woman who had Gastric Bypass Bariatric Surgery, which resulted in her losing a large amount of weight. The article described how she had battled being overweight most of her life. And how she had constantly tried and failed at dieting. She suffered from poor self-esteem and lack of self-worth because of her weight.

Her huge weight loss dramatically changed the way her body looked. The woman described how the dramatic change in how she looked, changed the way that she thought about herself – she became more self-confident and assured. I remember thinking, “wow! That is great.” However, as I continued reading the article, she also described how the weight loss changed how people close to her perceived her and her new body image; and negatively affected many of her close relationships. Several of her close friends abandoned her and her husband divorced her. I finished the article thinking, “how could something so right for her and her health negatively affect her personal life in such drastic ways.”

I recently had the privilege of interviewing, Tanya White an Author, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach and Educator about her weight loss journey and how it has impacted her relationships. White had the lap band weight loss procedure in 2010 and has lost more than 100 pounds and counting.


Interview with Ms. Tanya White, M.Ed.

What made you decide to have the lap band surgery? I was overweight all my life and in 2009, was about to turn 40. Over the years, my doctor would always encourage me to lose weight. Both of my parents died in their fifties. I was tired of dieting and came to terms that dieting did not work for me. The doctor actually recommended the lap band surgery.

Post surgery, how do you feel mentally? I had the procedure in March 2010, it’s about to be 4 years. I’m very pleased with the outcome; without surgery, I would probably be over 400 pounds. I was 364 pounds at the time of my surgery. Prior to having the procedure, I had to think about why I had gained so much weight over the years knowing that diabetes runs in my family. One thing I noticed was that culturally being big or voluptuous is okay. But, when it comes to health, I realized that I needed to make changes.

Have you noticed that your weight loss has affected your relationships? Yes! I have noticed the changes in some of my relationships. I was always “the fat girl”, and unfortunately lost some friends as a result of the weight loss, because I was no longer the fat one; especially some friends that I became smaller than. Despite this, I do have people in my life that want me to succeed.

What about men? Yes, I get more dates; because, I am more approachable, more open and willing to be social. I noticed that when dating all activities used to be centered around food; and some people would get offended when I did not eat while out. One guy even told me that he could not date me anymore, because I “couldn’t eat” and he likes to eat; regardless of me suggesting that we do other things that did not involve food or eating.

Do guys treat you differently? Yes. Some guys would say they did not want me to get too skinny. I was surprised that they were more concerned with what I looked like versus a healthy lifestyle. At the core, I have to worry about diabetes. I do realize that by being overweight this makes me less threatening to people. I have higher standards; and if people don’t want to rise to those standards, that is their problem.

Did your weight ever hold you back from dating or a relationship? Yes. My weight held me back from dating, from taking on leadership roles, and some friendships. My weight stopped me from being all that I can be. I was on more medication and spent a lot of money on massages due to chronic pain; every area of my life was affected by my weight. Even spiritually, I suffered from low self-esteem and body image.

Do you have any final words of encouragement to others who may be overweight? Both men and women, must do what they have to do to live a healthy lifestyle; especially if you’re at least 75 pounds overweight. Weight loss surgery is not a quick fix – you must go through a year of watching what you eat and making chanTanyaWhite_beforeandafter1ges to your lifestyle; be strong enough to deal with the good and the bad. Don’t be afraid to suggest non-eating activities to friends and family. It is important to be healthy. Whether it’s weight loss surgery or some other means, just do it! And last, turn down functions if you know you will be tempted. I am down 105 pounds and want to lose more; I am now assessing what I need to do to lose more weight.

Additional Sources:

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